I personally think 'elite school' means the children are given alot more opportunities like enrichment programs, larger variety of CCAs, etc. Some small neighbourhood schools do not have such robust programs to boost the other aspects of education.
My choice of school is by the programs they have for their students (compulsory programs) and the availability of additional programs (like enrichments). Also, opportunity (for competitions, be it intraschool or interschool) for most students, regardless of results.
I came from a school that was not an elite school but a rather reputable school that had loads of opportunities for us to develop. Not everyone attained super results, but all of us obtained a super education
That being said, the enrolment system is another cause. The more parents that enrol at the certain school, the 'better' that school seems. Just like typical Singaporeans, if there's a queue, join it first, then find out what the queue is for
My boy will be going to a 'top school' in Singapore according to another forum.
My husband is old boy, with the school's reputation, we save on the hassle (PV & what nots) and am sure he will get opportunities there. Why not?